At a time of heightened sensitivity as President Obama presses the Iranians to come clean on their nuclear program, two Clippers broadcasters were suspended for Friday night’s telecast because of an off the cuff remark they made about Memphis center Hamed Haddadi, theÂ first Iranian to play in the NBA.
Play-by play man Ralph Lawler and color analyst Michael Smith were suspended for the inappropriate comments they made about Haddadi during Wednesday night’s game against the Grizzlies in Memphis, where Smith asked if Haddadi was Borat’s older brother.
It’s always painful when news anchormen or sports commentators try to be comedians. The transcript of the conversation between Lawler and Smith, which occurred late in the game, is after the jump.
Smith: “Look who’s in.”
Lawler: “Hamed Haddadi. Where’s he from?”
Smith: “He’s the first Iranian to play in the NBA.” (Smith pronounced Iranian as “Eye-ranian,” a pronunciation that offended the viewer who complained.)
Lawler: “There aren’t any Iranian players in the NBA,” repeating Smith’s mispronunciation.
Smith: “He’s the only one.”
Lawler: “He’s from Iran?”
Smith: ” I guess so.”
Lawler: “That Iran?”
Lawler: “Wow. Haddadi that’s H-A-D-D-A-D-I.”
Smith: “You’re sure its not Borat’s older brother?”
Smith:Â “If they ever make a movie about Haddadi, i’m going to get Sacha Baron Cohen to play the part.”
Lawler: “Here’s Haddadi. Nice back-door pass. I guess those Iranians can pass the ball.”
Smith: “Especially the post players.”
Lawler: “I don’t know about their guards.”
It’s always painful whenÂ sports commentators try to be comedians.